A computer and internet connectivity are all you need to build wonderful things, which is the beauty of software development.
Education, money, healthcare, communication, and other sides of our existence all show the importance of software. Software systems have a major flaw, even if they are good at computing vast and complicated data sets: they are made by people. We all commit errors as humans; there are plenty of them. Since faults and failures are inevitable in any software system, this is to be expected.
Our economy now depends on software systems so heavily that every failure of these systems has an impact on the economy. 3.6 billion individuals were impacted by software failure in 2017 and suffered financial losses of $1.7 trillion, according to a study conducted by the software testing company Tricentis .
In this essay, We will see instances of software failure and its ramifications to give you an understanding of the potential repercussions that may happen as a result.
St. Mary’s Mercy Hospital is the first case.
Picture receiving a letter from your hospital informing you that you passed away one morning when you checked your mailbox. The 8500 patients who received treatment at St. Mary’s Mercy Hospital between October 25 and December 11 experienced just that. How did it go?
Apparently, the hospital had just improved its patient-management software. Nevertheless, a mapping mistake in the program caused the system to issue a number of 20 (which signifies “expired”) instead of 01, which indicated the patient had been discharged. But it doesn’t stop there. Incorrect information was given to insurance providers, the neighborhood Social Security office, and patients as well. How  is done is unclear.
National Health Service, the second instance
Neither not taking your medications at all nor taking the incorrect drug is better, in my opinion. It doesn’t matter which way you look at it, a software flaw caused at least 300,000 cardiac patients to receive the incorrect medication or advice. What then occurred?
SystmOne, a clinical computer program, was found to have a flaw in 2016 that had been causing it to calculate patients’ risk of heart attacks incorrectly since 2009 (see also: 2016). Due to the fact that many patients were assured they were at minimal risk, many experienced heart attacks or strokes, while others experienced unwanted side effects from taking medicine that wasn’t necessary .
Third instance: LAX airport air traffic control
The crucial duty of alerting pilots of aircraft of the pertinent information on weather, routes, the distance between other aircraft, and other matters falls to air traffic control. It might be disastrous if you don’t get in touch with the pilots of your aircraft right away.
Air traffic control at the Los Angeles airport lost vocal connection with 400 or more aircraft on September 14, 2004, at about 5 PM, when many of the aircraft were en route to one another in the southwest of the United States. How did it go? Unexpectedly, the principal voice communication system was turned off. A few minutes after it was switched on, the backup system also failed, which was the cherry on top.
The communication system’s internal millisecond timer, which runs continuously, was the root of the issue. It would shut off once it hit zero since it was unable to clock itself. Over 800 aircraft were impacted nationwide by the outage .
4th instance: Toyota
Many Toyota owners complained that towards the middle of the 2000s, their cars would accelerate without them having to press the accelerator. Investigators learned that software problems were to blame for the unexpected acceleration following a string of incidents that prompted inquiries.
In this instance, the software in Toyota automobiles had a number of flaws, including memory corruption, improper memory handling, the disabling of safety features, single point of failure systems, and hundreds of global variables. Millions of Toyota automobiles were recalled, and a month after the root of the issue was found, the stock price of Toyota dropped by 20%.
In this instance, the need to release the product quickly shows the costs of not paying enough attention to testing and sound programming techniques.
Various instances of software failure and their effects were investigated in this article. These incidents show how dependent our society is on software and how when it malfunctions, there may be ramifications beyond just the financial ones.
Software systems will include flaws and be vulnerable to failure as long as people are involved in the development process. As programmers, it is our duty to make sure that the systems we created have undergone extensive testing in a variety of accurate and realistic circumstances. In order to make sure that the program we are advertising may truly benefit its users rather than hurt them, this is necessary.
A lot of times, introducing an unproven and incomplete product is driven by competition and the desire to be the first to market. As software users, it is our duty to use the tools we employ to assist our actions rather than slavishly following whatever advice or outcomes they may provide.